McLean County news briefs

You can search events on Facebook for Funks Grove National Trails Day Celebration.


Police arrest young teens for stolen vehicle

Bloomington Police arrested two juvenile males on May 20 at approximately 3:30 a.m. for several charges stemming from a stolen vehicle incident.

In the early morning hours, officers were dispatched to the area of 5th Street and B Avenue in Bloomington for suspects burglarizing vehicles. Officers were given a description of the vehicle the suspects were in.

A short time later, a third shift officer located the suspect vehicle near Main Street and Veterans Parkway. Before the officer could stop the vehicle, the vehicle sped off, and crashed near Main Street and Armory Road.

Officers arrested one 13-year-old male and two others fled on foot. After a foot pursuit, officers arrested a 15-year-old male and later located another 15-year-old juvenile male connected with the stolen vehicle incident.

If you were a victim of any vehicle burglaries last night in the city’s south side, contact BPD dispatch at 309-820-8888 to make a report.

If you wish to remain anonymous, call McLean County Crime Stoppers at 309-828-1111. If your call leads to the arrest and indictment of suspect(s) you may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.


Country singer Gracin to perform next week at CPA

Michigan native and former Marine Josh Gracin will be performing on Sunday, June 2, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, 600 N. East St.

Tickets are general admission at cost $25.

Josh Gracin

Gracin ascended the country music charts in 2004 with “I Want to Live.”

The hits came in short order — the chart-topper “Nothin’ To Lose,” “Stay With Me (Brass Bed),” and “We Weren’t Crazy” all hit high on the Billboard charts.

Gracin found himself thrust into the national spotlight. Now, with the release of his new single, “Good For You,” he is back on country radio alongside his last digital release “Nothin’ Like Us.”

Learn more about Gracin, visit

Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 309-434-2777 or in person at the Ticket Office located at 600 N. East St.


Chamber invites interns for Becoming BN program

The McLean County Chamber of Commerce is calling all Bloomington-Normal area interns to get involved and network with local leaders through is Becoming BN program.

Becoming BN is a 10-week summer program, specifically designed for summer interns in McLean County to learn more about the attributes Bloomington-Normal has to offer young professionals. Registration is free.

Each week participants will engage in activities and experiences that introduce them to the opportunities in the area, while they have opportunities to network, meet local CEO’s, and pick up a few professional development tips along the way.

The Becoming BN is a program of McLean County COMPACT, a subsidiary of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce.

The Becoming BN Kick-Off event will be Tuesday, June 4 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Epiphany Farms Bell Tower and Ballroom, located at 220 E. Front St.

For more information and a list of the summer schedule, visit


Get outside and Celebrate National Trails Day

University of Illinois Extension’s Illinois Grand Prairie Master Naturalists will hold their annual Trails Day Celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 1 at Sugar Grove Nature Center. The event is free and open to the public so plan a family outing and spend National Trails Day outside with nature.

This year we have speakers, special guests and awesome activity stations planned, including a visit from University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic for both a raptor session at 10:30 a.m. followed by a mammal program at 11 a.m.

Other scheduled appearances include Illinois Weather at 11:30 a.m., Sugar Grove Nature Center animal feeding session at Noon, Miller Park Zoo mammal program at 1 p.m., and ending the day hearing all about the History of the Funks Grove area at 2 p.m.

And no worries, we have many nature-related activities to fill the day that focuses on hiking, nature crafts, honeybees and bird learning, first aid, trail safety, and more outdoor learning activities for both adults, and children.

Participants are encouraged to pack a picnic lunch and stay all day to take advantage of as many activities as possible. Bring some cash along as there will be food vendors available for the first time this year.

Sugar Grove Nature Center has over seven miles of hiking trails where participants can enjoy the diversity of plants and animals that live in the prairie, woodland, and savanna habitats. Guided hikes will take hikers along creeks and streams where birds and butterflies fly, toads hop, fish swim, herons hunt, and beavers are busy building dams. So, plan as you will not want to miss out on this year’s “Mystery Trail.” Sugar Grove Nature Center is located at 4532 N. 725 E. Road, McLean.

University of Illinois Extension’s Master Naturalist program provides science-based educational opportunities that connect people with nature and help them become engaged environmental stewards.

For questions and more information about this event, location or becoming a Master Naturalist, follow and click on Find  Events Calendar or feel free to contact Sherry Thomas, University of Illinois Extension Ag & Natural Resources program coordinator for Livingston, McLean, and Woodford counties at 309-663-8306.

Canning safely class coming to Heartland

University of Illinois Extension is partnering with Heartland Community College to present: Yes! You CAN: Canning Safely for Sale.

This class will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 6 at Heartland Community College’s Normal Readiness Center (NRC) Room 1203/4, 1500 W. Raab Road, Normal.

Home canning can come with risks, but knowing the proper procedures will help make your product safe for sale.

This program will give you an overview of the permissible canned products in the Cottage Food law, steps to ensure these products are safe for sale, hands-on canning experience, resources, and recipes. The class is taught by University of Illinois Extension Nutrition & Wellness educator and registered dietitian Jenna Smith.

The cost to attend is $59 per person. Register by calling Heartland at 309-268-8160 or online at For more information and for more programs like this one, contact Jenna at 309-663-8306 or email her at


Safe Sitter class at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center

Advocate BroMenn Medical Center will offer a Safe Sitter class Tuesday, June 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the hospital, 1304 Franklin Ave., Normal.

This babysitting preparation program is designed for boys and girls ages 11-13. Many topics will be covered, including babysitting as a business, success on the job, childcare essentials, safety for the sitter, injury management, preventing problem behavior and care of a choking infant and child. Participants should bring a sack lunch and beverage.

Class fee is $40, and registration is required. Please visit for more information or to register.